Film #85: Indie Game: The Movie (2012)

fish1directors: Lisanne Pajot & James Swirsky
language: English and a bit of French
length: 94 minutes
watched on: 6 May 2013

I had a day in my Golden Week holiday near the beginning of May where I just decided to watch lots of films… well, three, anyway, which is far more than I’ve been watching in the past few months. This one, a documentary about indie game makers, came with a recent Humble Bundle.

It follows the story of the creators of three games: Braid, already finished and out a few years ago – and which I liked a lot; Super Meat Boy, which was being finished while the film was being shot (I think in 2010 or 2011) – and which I also liked a lot but still haven’t beaten; and Fez, which was in development hell during the filming and I think was only released last year – and I don’t have the means to play it currently.

What the three have in common is that they’re all produced by a team of only one or two people, and these people basically all seem to drive themselves insane in the process. Jonathan Blow, who produced Braid, is much more sombre than the others, but I think that’s because his interviews were long after the fact – meanwhile, the others are pulling their hair out over every problem that seems to go wrong, and some react much worse than the others and worry that they’ll never finish.

It was quite an interesting look into the lives of the people who do these games (which in my opinion always turn out very high quality), and perhaps a kind of confirmation that it’s something I could never do myself. But it’s a niche interest – I wouldn’t recommend the film generally, only if you have that interest already.

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